Zola Nene returns as a ‘MasterChef South Africa’ judge

Celebrated chef, food stylist, and award-winning author Zola Nene. File image

Celebrated chef, food stylist, and award-winning author Zola Nene. File image

Published Feb 27, 2024


Culinary queen Zola Nene will be one of the three judges in the new season of “MasterChef South Africa” coming to SABC3.

In 2022, Nene, along with Gregory Czarnecki and Justine Drake, joined the cooking show for season 4, taking over the baton from Pete Goffe-Wood, Benny Masekwameng and Reuben Riffel.

The celebrated chef, food stylist and award-winning author’s professional journey with food started in 2007 when she enrolled at the Institute of Culinary Arts in Stellenbosch.

She has since gone on to achieve great success in the food and television industries. Nene has authored two hugely popular cookbooks – 2017’s “Simply Delicious” and 2018’s “Simply Zola”.

Encouraging those who have a passion for food to enter the cooking competition, she said: “It really doesn’t matter what your food-making forté is or which type of South African cuisine you dish up to tickle people’s taste buds.

“As long as you have an extensive knowledge of flavours and textures, love whipping up food feasts, know your way around the kitchen and have a brewing appetite to learn more about the art of cooking.”

Announcing the news on her Instagram account, fans and industry colleagues congratulated Nene on the role.

ThatDesh wrote: “Major! Love this for you.”

LungiNhlanhla wrote: “We love to see it.”

Sanele M wrote: “Loved you last season. Looking forward to your judging this season.”

In MasterChef South Africa, 20 home cooks from diverse backgrounds are put through the paces with various challenges, during which they create delicious dishes to impress the judges and avoid landing on the chopping board.

Ultimately, the winner scoops the coveted title of “MasterChef” along with a life-changing cash prize of R1 million.

In a press statement, Primedia Studios president Jan du Plessis said: “’MasterChef’ has been a winning television recipe across the globe and a local media sensation.

“The new South African season will have all the ingredients this blue-chip show has become famous for, but the menu will also be spiced up to cater to a broader audience alongside existing fans.”

Lala Tuku, the head of local content at the SABC, said: “We’re thrilled to add ‘MasterChef South Africa’ to S3’s 2024 schedule. ‘Deal or No Deal South Africa’ and ‘The Masked Singer South Africa’ proved that SABC audiences have a huge appetite for high-quality, exhilarating local versions of top-notch international formats.

“Besides providing on-the-edge-of-your-seat entertainment, ‘MasterChef South Africa’ will shine the spotlight on the country’s rich, diverse culture and cuisine while transforming the lives of contestants with culinary dreams.”

“The two judges joining Nene on the show and the show’s launch date on SABC3 will be announced in due course.“

To enter the life-changing competition, visit the MasterChef South Africa website, www.masterchefsa.tv, where you will find all the instructions.

The closing date for entries is March 15 and the show will debut in June 2024.